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Maria's Math News, Vol. 72, May 2013

I love teaching, and I love math. This newsletter is my way of reaching out and helping you to teach it, too.

Hello again!

I had FUN putting together this newsletter! This time you get to hear a testimonial from Lisa, get free worksheets for area & perimeter, consider the answer to the (often asked!) question, 'Where do you need algebra?', and check out a neat game for order of operations. Oh, and the tidbits have interesting stuff, too. Hopefully something for everybody!


1. Math Mammoth news
2. Worksheets for area & perimeter
3. Where do you need square roots? Or algebra?
4. My Dear Aunt Sally - game for order of operations
5. Tidbits

1. Math Mammoth news

  1. Educents is a fairly new site that runs special deals for educational products. You can now get certain Math Mammoth bundles on Educents for 30% off! This deal runs till Monday, May 13. The bundles included in the deal (as downloads) are the Light Blue Series, Blue Series, and All Inclusive.

  2. May sale! I will run a sale at Kagi store for ALL Math Mammoth & Make It Real Learning products for 25% off from May 15 till May 31. I'll send another notice about it when the time is near.

  3. Testimonial: Filling in the gaps with Math Mammoth
    I just wanted to share this testimonial that Lisa K. sent in a few days ago. I find this situation is fairly common among children who come from public school and start Math Mammoth - they are behind in math, sometimes very much so (many grade levels). Yet, it's not a time to despair, because it IS possible to catch up!

    It is often necessary to go back and make sure all the basics are mastered. Then, the child often progresses at a much faster pace, and within a few years they usually attain grade level.

    The idea is not to have a race to keep up with public school, but to gain a solid understanding of math for life.

    Here's Lisa's comment. Her daughter still has some more catching up to do, but she's progressing at a good pace!
    Maria, I just have to thank you for your wonderful math program. I emailed you late last summer about my 6th grade daughter who was terribly behind in math. You suggested I start her back in the grade 1 book to give her a fresh and solid start. I did and she has done great! She has completed both first grade books, both second grade books and has now started the multiplication "theme" books (I decided to just do multiplication because most of the other things in the 3rd grade book she already knows). I can't believe she's flown through 2 grade levels and is starting a third in less than one school year. She still does not love math, but she is doing well and has built some confidence. Your method for learning multiplication tables is terrific. She's learned 2, 4, 3, 5, 10, 11 in about 3 weeks!

    I love that you focus, not just on learning the facts, but on understanding the concepts. Not just "this works", but "this is why this works". Many programs don't do that; it's just rote memorization which is partly why Grace got so behind. She never understood why she was carrying (for instance), she just did it. Now that it makes sense, it's really sticking with her.

    I'm using your program with my other younger children, too, and am just as happy. Also, it's so easy for me to use. Almost no prep time and free worksheets when they need a little extra help or some review!

    Thank you again and again for your wonderful program!

2. Worksheets for area & perimeter

Here is the newest worksheet generator that I have added to

Area and perimeter of rectangles/squares

It is very versatile and makes many different kinds of problems related to the area and perimeter of rectangles and squares.

You can make:

I anticipate this worksheet generator to become very popular and sought out for by teachers AND parents alike.

You can make worksheets with just one type of problems from that list, or mix them up however you want. For example:

area and perimeter worksheet
(in your browser options, make sure background colors get printed)

I especially wanted to include the topic of area and distributive property because I feel many children may have some difficulty with the new CCS requirement for 3rd grade, that is 3.MD.7.c
"Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths a and b + c is the sum of a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning."
You can generate worksheets for this exact standard! They can look like this:

(in your browser options, make sure background colors get printed)

Here are some quick links for you to try the generator:

3. Where do you need square roots? Or algebra?

If you have taught math any length of time, I'm sure you have encountered the question, "Where do I ever need this?"

I've updated an article of mine on this topic. It specifically uses the example of where students might need the idea or concept of square root.

Where do you need math, square roots, or algebra?

The article also lists several resources that are designed to help students understand where math is needed in real-life.


4. My Dear Aunt Sally - game for order of operations

You've surely heard of the acronym PEMDAS for the order of operations (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) - standing for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication & Division, Addition & Subtraction.

There's a new game for order of operations called My Dear Aunt Sally. You can play it free online, or purchase an inexpensive app for your tablet.

It's a very good game, and takes some thinking! You need to place the given numbers into two expressions so that the operations make the two expressions have the same value.

You can see some screenshots at my blog.

5. Tidbits

Feel free to forward this issue to a friend/colleague! Subscribe here.

Till next time,
Maria Miller
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